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Belarusian Economy A Month Before the Elections – Digest of the Belarusian Economy
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In the last month before the Presidential elections, the Belarusian economy continues to disappoint. Although decline in GDP has slowed, the -3.5 per cent growth has failed to impress. The Belarusian rouble continues to depreciate as oil prices plunge. The...
29 September 2015
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Belarus – Why Visit?

Belarus Digest starts a series of articles on tourism in Belarus prepared by Nigel Roberts, a a UK-based freelance travel writer specialising in Belarus. I first visited this extraordinary and much misunderstood country in 2001. I have returned many times...

28 September 2015
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Why Belarusians Stay Away from the Belarusian Rouble

On 16 September a new regulation of the National Bank of Belarus on currency transactions came into effect. It forced all consulates in Belarus to suspend their activities for a few days in order for them to invent new...

25 September 2015
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EU considers Lifting Sanctions, Putin’s Proposed Airbase – Western Press Digest

Putin’s announcement of a Russian air base in Belarus dominated western media in September. Western media see the declaration as further support of Russian expansion. Other significant news: The EU might lift sanctions after Lukashenka freed 6 political prisoners. A...

24 September 2015
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Russian Airbase in Belarus: A Long Story With No End in Sight?

This month, the Kremlin intensified pressure on Belarus to agree to a Russian airbase on its territory. Last Saturday President Putin asked his Defence and Foreign Ministries to negotiate and sign the agreement on an airbase with Minsk. The Financial...

23 September 2015
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Belarusian Milk Exports: Success in the East, Failure in the West

On 17 September, Alexander Lukashenka publicly explained to Vladimir Putin the process of milk production and to Nursultan Nazarbayev the functioning of the market economy. In this way the Belarusian state leader responded to critics who have questioned the...

22 September 2015
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What Do Belarusians Think, Forum Of Enterpreneurs – Belarus Civil Society Digest

Perspektiva organises a National Forum of Entrepreneurs to enable them to share opinions how they see their future in Belarus. Fountain on Grushevskaya street in Minsk will be restored for the money of locals. The local residents decided to take...

21 September 2015
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Cycling Boom Reaches Belarusian Cities

On 18 September morning, cycling activists handed out fruits to Minsk residents who travelled to their job or university by bike. In this way they wanted to thank people for their choice and to draw attention to the lack...

18 September 2015
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How Belarusian Television Covers Elections – Belarus State TV Digest

Belarusian state television continues to convince its audience that voting matters. It also tries to create an impression that it remains an open platform for all candidates. Yet, at the same time state TV clearly promotes one particular candidate...

17 September 2015
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A Cautious Reset of Belarus-EU Relations in the Making?

On 9 September the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini stated that the EU should "not to miss a new window of opportunity" in relations with Belarus after Alexander Lukashenka's decision to pardon six remaining political prisoners. Although...

16 September 2015
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New Agreement with EU, Reviving Embassies with the US – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Encouraged by "non-negative dynamics" in Belarus, the European Union is drafting a new kind of framework agreement with Minsk. It will take into account the realities of their relationship. In the meantime, Minsk and Washington are discussing the practicalities...

15 September 2015
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Looking Back at Lukashenka’s Fourth Term

On 11 September candidates for Belarusian president officially started their campaigns. From the previous presidential campaign slogan “For independent, strong and prosperous Belarus”, Lukashenka left only “independent”. In order to buy voters in 2010, Lukashenka embarked on excessive wage growth...

14 September 2015
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China as An Epic Failure of Belarusian Foreign Policy

On Friday, President Lukashenka announced that the promised Chinese loan of $7billion would help Belarus cope with the current crisis. A week before this announcement, he had gone to China for his eighth visit to Beijing. Is Belarus succeeding in...

11 September 2015
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Civil Society in Focus, Belarusian Opposition, Internet Users – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

According to a recently released report, in 2011- 2015 the civil society sector has seen seen certain improvements​ although civic engagement in civil society initiatives remains weak. Another recently-released study concludes that it is impossible to speak of an improvement...

10 September 2015
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Are Housing Utilities about to Become Market-Based?

On 14 August the Belarusian government approved a plan to increase tariffs on housing utilities to their full market cost. The state wants Belarusians to live under market conditions in five years time, which means tripling utility bills by...